The client's program was contradictory. The house was to be simultaneously open and closed, modern and traditional, timeless and current. Our conversations began with references and images of college campus quads, Hugh Newell Jacobsen (whose Fletcher house is a few minutes drive away), Post-modernism, and contemporary architecture. Eventually we settled on a goal; to make a contemporary home that was not reactionary or a contrary to it's neighbors or site. Rather, a house that grew directly from the traditionally inspired buildings of the neighborhood without being ironic or 'postmodern'.
We challenged ourselves to develop a project from this context and focused on creating a short prose about the site, it's topography, flora and fauna, and suburban context. While the surrounding neighborhood is filled with a variety of 'neo'-inspired styles, one element predominates and is pervasive across all, from Georgian to Mid-Century Modern; the gable profile. To begin our study, we proposed to use the gable as an exterior object and as an interior hollowed out vessel, stripping it of adornment in order to abstract it back to a simple surface. A glass house supporting three stepping and repeating gable roof 'hats' spring from the gently sloping site. Generous door and window openings vary across each gable. Views through the house connect front to back and side to side. Natural light enters most spaces from multiple openings animating each room with a different color and type of light throughout the day and year.
An oblique, sloped path extends from the street, through the house, towards a blue stone terrace beyond. The house is a moment along this path that burrows into the ground at one end and hovers above it at the other. Inside and out, the house aims to reveal what is both familiar and unique about its site. The owners lived on site for 8 years before razing the previous house to start over. Their time here informed all aspects of the project, enriching the process of discovery with an acute and very specific
knowledge of this place.
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Arbor Close Up
Front Entry Walk
West Facing Terrace Arbor
Rear Yard and Terrace
South Facing Gable End
Arbor view towards Master Bedroom Bay Window
Living Room and Dining Room view towards rear yard
Stairway towards children's room and study
Living Room and Dining Room with lift and slide door open to yard
Children's Room and Study
BBQ and Lift Gate
Early evening front yard street view
Family Room View
Front Yard View
Kitchen desk look out over front yard
Living Room with lift and slide door and fireplace beyond